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How to relieve sinus pressure

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sinus pressure

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  • Dealing with sinus pressure can be tough, especially when the pain occurs intermittently. While many people may seek conventional treatments, consider going the more natural route
  • While it usually goes away when the infection subsides, it can cause discomfort and affect your day-to-day function
  • You can turn to home remedies to relieve the pressure from your head. Discover natural methods to relieve sinus pressure

Have you ever felt like your head is heavier than usual, or that some parts of your face feel like they have a weight pressed on them? You might be suffering from sinus pressure or a sinus headache. This uncomfortable sensation usually occurs on your forehead, cheeks and the top of your eyes, and may be caused by a sinus infection, migraine, allergies or other more serious conditions.1,2

What is sinus pressure?

Sinus infections are one of the most common illnesses experienced, affecting about 16% of adults in the U.S.3 But what are your sinuses exactly, and what purpose do they serve for your body?

Paranasal sinuses are hollow coves in the skull that are coated with a thin layer of mucus.4 While their function is to provide moisture to your nasal canal, they also work by improving the quality of your voice, serving as a buffer for facial trauma and decreasing the overall weight of the skull. Although they are normally empty, they can fill up with mucus because of an infection or an adverse reaction. This might cause a series of uncomfortable symptoms, including sinus pressure.5

Sinus pressure can be hard to ignore, since it makes your head feel extra heavy. There can be numerous causes for this sensation, including nasal congestion or respiratory tract infections. While sinus pressure is commonly caused by these mild conditions, more serious conditions, such as sinus tumors, nasal papillomas or nasal polyps, may lead to chronic sinusitis.6

4 home remedies for sinus pressure

If you’re not feeling your best and you’re stuck at home with a sinus issue, you can turn to home remedies to relieve the pressure from your head. Here are some of the things you can try, according to WebMD:7

Take a hot shower — The steam from a hot shower helps clear up your stuffy nose, relaxing you and declogging the mucus that’s blocking your sinuses.

Stay hydrated — Keeping yourself hydrated will help your body to dilute the mucus in your sinuses, which will help you get rid of it faster.

Apply a warm, wet t]owel on your face — Applying a warm towel on your face may help declog mucus buildup in your sinuses by loosening your nasal passages.

Try acupressure — Acupressure, a practice that originates from Chinese medicine, refers to the practice of applying pressure or pressing on certain pressure points on the face or on other parts of the body to target and alleviate painful conditions. You can try massaging the bridge of your nose or your cheeks with your fingertips.8

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Where are your sinus pressure points?

Because your sinuses are situated in different areas of your skull, problems in your sinuses may cause scattered pain or pressure points. The four types of paired sinuses are the following:9

Maxillary sinuses — Located under the eyes and in the maxillary bone, these sinuses are the largest. Maxillary sinusitis may cause some pain in your cheeks and upper teeth, which may be mistaken for a toothache.10

Frontal sinuses — These are found in your frontal bone, on top of your eyes. When these are clogged, you might experience some pressure behind your eyes and forehead.11

Ethmoid sinuses — These are small sinuses located in the ethmoid bone, in between your eyes and nose.

Sphenoid sinuses — Located inside the skull, sphenoid sinuses are located behind the ethmoid sinuses and are separated by bone.12 Infection of these may cause some sinus pressure in the ears and neck.13

Symptoms of sinus pressure you should look out for

Aside from the telltale pressure on the areas in your head where the sinuses are located, sinus pressure may also manifest in other ways, including:14,15

Increased pain when bending down — Due to where the sinuses are situated on the brows and cheeks, bending down may cause a “pulling-down” sensation when it comes to your sinuses, especially when they are clogged. This may vary from a slight twinge to a full-on feeling of heaviness that doubles when bent over.

Stuffy nose — In some cases when pressure is caused by sinusitis (a sinus infection), the internal passages of the nose may become swollen, making it harder for you to breathe. While a lot of people attribute a stuffy nose to excessive mucus production, it is mostly due to the inflamed tissue. It may be exacerbated by the increased thickness of mucus produced.16 Find out how you can get rid of a stuffy nose.

TirednessIn the event that the sinus pressure you’re feeling is coming from a sinus infection, you might feel fatigued or more tired than usual.

Pain in your upper jaw or teeth — In some cases, sinus problems can trigger toothaches. A 2003 study from Dentistry Today mentions that sinusitis can manifest as toothaches, especially when the ache is located in the maxillary posterior teeth.17

Ear pressure — Patients may feel a slight pressure in their ears together with sinus pressure because of the proximity between the ears and the sphenoid sinuses.18

Try these essential oils for sinus pressure

While conventional medicine may offer you numerous options to decongest your sinuses, you can opt for essential oils as a safer and more natural option. Some of the essential oils that you can choose are:

Peppermint oilPatients note that the cooling effect of peppermint helps relieve the airways and clogged sinuses. Peppermint oil contains anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, which may help target one of the common causes of clogged sinuses – sinus infections.19

Eucalyptus oilA 2004 study from The Laryngoscope showed that eucalyptus oil contains cineole, a constituent that has anti-inflammatory properties. Administration of cineole helped soothe sinusitis symptoms.20

Lavender oilLavender oil is a popular essential oil due to its calming properties. While it is commonly used to promote sleep and relaxation, a 2005 review states that it also has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory capabilities.21

You can use these essential oils by putting a few drops in your handkerchief and inhaling their fragrance. You can mix a few drops in a basin of hot water and inhale the steam, or even add them to your bathwater. Just make sure that you don’t put the oils directly on your skin without diluting them in a safe carrier oil. Do a skin patch test before using these oils topically, as they may trigger an allergic reaction.

Naturally solve sinus pressure without the risk of side effects

Dealing with sinus pressure can be tough, especially when the pain occurs intermittently. While many people may seek conventional treatments — usually with decongestants and pain relievers —  consider going the more natural route. This can save you from any potential side effect these treatments may cause. By using essential oils or even just taking a hot shower, you can relieve sinus pressure easily and without any hassle.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs) about sinus pressure

Q: How do you relieve sinus pressure in ears?

A: By promoting sinus drainage, you can relieve sinus pressure on the ears. You can try using essential oils or putting a warm compress on your head to promote declogging.22

Q: What causes sinus pressure?

A: Sinus pressure is usually triggered by mucus buildup in the sinuses, which can be caused by infections, allergies or other conditions. Infections and allergies can cause the nasal canals to become clogged, making sinus drainage difficult, which will keep the increased mucus stuck inside the sinuses.23

Q: What to take for sinus pressure?

A: There are numerous decongestants available in the market, but there are also several natural methods that you can opt for. A hot shower may help stimulate sinus drainage. You can also use essential oils and acupressure.24

Q: Can sinus pressure cause dizziness?

A: In some cases, the increased mucus buildup may block the Eustachian tube, making it harder for the ear to maintain balance in the body. This impaired balance may cause some form of dizziness in some patients.25

Q: Can sinus pressure cause tooth pain?

A: Blocked sinuses can put some pressure on your upper jaw, making your upper teeth ache. This usually resolves itself once the sinuses are emptied.

Q: Can sinus pressure cause eye pain?

A: Because the frontal sinuses are situated right on top of your eyes, you might feel some degree of pain when they become clogged.26

Q: How should I sleep with sinus pressure?

A: If you have clogged sinuses, it would be best to you elevate your head higher than usual when lying down. This will help stimulate drainage of your sinuses while sleeping.27

Q: Does blowing your nose relieve sinus pressure?

A: As long as you blow your nose gently, you can help clear up your nasal passages. However, make sure you don’t do it forcefully because it can propel more air and mucus into your sinuses, making the problem worse.28

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